barry

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Hi All,

I know that the accuracy of the data in Webmaster Tools is a very controversial topic, but leaving that aside for a second, I'd like to know more about how webmaster tools relates to local SEO in the first place.

Does anyone know:
  • Does the data which is shown in webmaster tools include local pack impressions/clicks in the first place, or is it only relating to regular local rankings?
  • Let's assume for now that local pack data is included. Then, if I see my average ranking for a certain search term is "6.0", what exactly does that mean?
    • What does "ranking 6th" even mean? If you're ranking 3rd organically but are under the local 3-pack, will your average position show up as 3 or 6?
    • In other words, is Google simply lining up all non-paid listings on a SERP, and ranking them regardless of if they are local pack or regular listings?

Anyone know?
 

Linda Buquet

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  • What does "ranking 6th" even mean? If you're ranking 3rd organically but are under the local 3-pack, will your average position show up as 3 or 6?
  • In other words, is Google simply lining up all non-paid listings on a SERP, and ranking them regardless of if they are local pack or regular listings?

I don't have a def answer for you Barry, but I have to assume you are right. It's just pure stacked ranking order. That's how almost everyone does it.

FYI: Places Scout Rank Tracker is the only one I know of that gives you a choice.

You can have it do stacked ranking so 3rd organic under a pack would be #6. OR you can have it do separate ranking, in which case your report to the client would show you are #3 in organic which sounds much better. In fact it shows BOTH. So if you are #2 organic, and #1 in the pack you see both.

For Full Size Ranking Report click here, then click to expand top screenshot

rankings-1.jpg


Sorry if I took this off track. If you simply want to know how webmaster tools does it, I'll Tweet this to see if I can get some answers.

But if you wanted to know how to get more detail and better options for tracking/reporting rankings, I thought I'd share a solution with you.

rankings-1.jpg
 

Greg Schueler

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I have seen WMT include the paid ad section in their rankings as well.

(I posted this question a while ago, but got no replies.)

So if their are 3 Adwords ads on top, the you are 3rd in organic, WMT will show you as ranking #6. Which stinks for real organic tracking.
 

Linda Buquet

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Oh really Greg? Adwords counts?

Sadly I still have not gotten around to setting it up here so never use it.

So just have to ask to double check. It would just report as #6 so you have no idea what type of placement you are or what type it's counting above you? Does not differentiate and tell you at all?
 

Greg Schueler

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I never knew this, nor can i confirm that it is or was always that way.

But in the other post I described what I saw and tried to confirm the answers. I searched all over the net and never could find any way to see if it was for sure like that.

But I did see that in action on one of my clients accounts.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hmmm, thanks for linking to your other post. I had missed it and just read it.
Yes that sure does skew results!
 

saburnsjax

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The analytics shown in Search Console (formerly GWT) has changed recently... Google does have a short, albeit incomplete, description of the changes, which you can read here:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6155685?hl=en

As I understand it, the data shown in Search Console only includes impressions where the site appears in organic search results, it doe not include any occurrences from AdWords

From that documentation I found
"•The Search Console Search Queries page lists shows the total number of keyword search queries in which your page's listing was seen in search results, and this is a smaller number. Also, Search Console rounds search query data to one or two significant digits."

and
"Google's advertising programs are independent of our search results. Search results display on the left side of our results page; ads appear on the right and in the colored box at the top"

One of the big changes between the "old" CWT analytics and the "new" Search Console report is the way impressions are counted... per Google:

"The old Search Queries report counts every single page in the search results as an impression; the new Search Analytics report counts all links to the same site as a single impression (unless you group, filter, or compare by page)."

The thing that Google seems to be the most elusive about is whether the position/appearance in the local results is included in the analytics data within Search Console {or even in Google Analytics proper for that matter}. I was pretty sure that before Pigeon last July (2014) that they were separate because there were 2 algorithms.. but now they are one & the same? or are they? and this last question may be moot given the shift we are seeing where there will be no 'organic local' only 'paid local'.
 

Eric Rohrback

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I'm definitely seeing conflicting data in the old search queries report vs the search analytics report. I'm thinking they're counting everything (organic, local, knowledge graph, ads) to report in the search analytics data in the new WMT console. This just adds another step to try and segment the data to get it more accurate and actionable :(
 
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